A Volkswagen Rabbit to Remember: Meet “The Randy Hare”

Volkswagen Rabbit - "The Randy Hare"
An abandoned Volkswagen Rabbit I happened upon outside Boulder, Colorado.

Here’s some Easter-themed nostalgia, in the form of a very special (yet abandoned) VW Rabbit

Happy belated Easter, everyone! I have something of a Rabbit-themed story for you all. You know, I am a huge fan of hatchbacks. They offer a combination of fun, efficiency and practicality that, on the whole, you just can’t beat. That all started with the Volkswagen Golf. I, like a lot of other car enthusiasts out there, hold the Mk1 Golf GTi in especially high esteem, as it really kicked off the “hot hatchback” phenomenon that’s seen a resurgence in recent years. With the likes of the Mk7.5 Golf GTi and Golf R, Ford Focus ST and RS, the Hyundai Veloster N, and the Honda Civic Type R, there are plenty of options out there. Then, while I was running an errand on this cloudy Easter morning, I found this one: “The Randy Hare”.

This Rabbit has an, ahem, “distinctive” identity.

While it may not be a hot hatchback, as such, it definitely catches your attention. Even in its humbler, mild salsa form, however, I find myself endeared to hatchbacks. However, for some reason, I always seem to forget about “our” Mk1 Golf until I see one. During its first generation, we didn’t know the Golf as the Golf. From the time it came into our market in 1975, we and Canada knew it as the Volkswagen “Rabbit”. And that’s what we have here – between 1975 and 1984, the U.S. and Canada got the Rabbit instead of the Golf.

The Randy Hare certainly stands out

This particular, um – let’s go with amorous – Rabbit currently sits abandoned on private property, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to find it. However, I was up here taking care of an errand and just happened to come across it. Now, it hasn’t been sitting long enough to completely rot away into nothing, but the property owner confirmed it has been sitting there for the past several months. It hasn’t been towed away (yet) since it’s in a remote location, but the cornucopia of cobwebs and vegetation in the engine bay shows the car’s been there for awhile.

The original Rabbit saw a huge array of engines during its lifespan, before it was supplanted by the redesigned Mk2 Golf in the early 1980s. By 1982, we got a 1.7-liter four-cylinder unit that made a whopping 74 horsepower. Mind you, this car (particularly with some bits missing, including most of the interior) was pretty light. Even with power in the double digits, it can be somewhat zippy, cobwebs and vegetation notwithstanding.

Every once in awhile, you stumble across an old car you’d forgotten about, as I had with the Rabbit. I spotted my last one a few years ago, but it wasn’t anything like this. It appears the car’s owner took some effort to make this car stand out, including the wheels, paint scheme, and comedy badging. It’s always fun to find an old car while just out and about, and finding “The Randy Hare” was a hoot. I’m glad I happened across it, as it’s a fun reminder of one of my favorite hatchback nameplates, the iconic Volkswagen Golf.